Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Michael Peers fêted at book launch

Posted on: January 23rd, 2015 by CEP Administrator No Comments

Cake cutting3

Archbishop Michael Peers, former primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, prepares to cut a cake marking the official launch of the book ‘More Than I Can Say: Michael Peers—A Memoir.’ From left to right: Bishop Michael Ingham, Bishop Gordon Light, Peers, Pamela Bird, Archdeacon Michael Thompson and Jo Mutch. All served under the primacy of Archbishop Peers. Photo by Marites Sison/Anglican Journal


By Matt Gardner


The life and work of Archbishop Michael Peers, former primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, were the focus at Church House on Thursday during the official launch of the book More Than I Can Say: Michael Peers—A Memoir.

A collection of stories and anecdotes from more than 70 contributors who have known Peers through the decades, the book offers an intimate glimpse into the life of the former primate, from his time in the Prairies to his celebrated tenure as head of the church, which included a historic apology to the First Nations peoples of Canada for the role the church played in the Indian residential school system.

With his characteristic good humour, Peers noted after the launch, “I’m very grateful that people would want to produce something like this, which will bring a lot of things together that I couldn’t remember myself.”

If the former primate was modest about his contributions, others attending the launch were more than happy to lavish praise on Peers.

The event kicked off with a packed Eucharist celebration onsite in the Chapel of the Holy Apostles, where Archbishop Fred Hiltz, current primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, offered words of welcome.

Peers-more-than-i-can-say_620Drawing upon passages from the book, he detailed a lengthy list of titles attributed to Peers, including bishop, metropolitan, linguist, historian, navigator, diplomat, recipient of 13 honorary degrees, and perhaps most significantly, “friend.”

“It’s clear as you read the book, he’s known for having the mind of a scholar,” Hiltz said.

Archdeacon Michael Thompson, general secretary, offered a homily connecting the values outlined in the day’s gospel reading to Peers’ approach to ministry.

Following the Eucharist, attendees moved to a reception upstairs. Refreshments were followed by remarks from Bishop Michael Ingham, General Synod’s first principal secretary and editor of More Than I Can Say.

Ingham thanked Hiltz for initiating the project, the Anglican Foundation of Canada for printing and circulation, partner Nancy Southam for devising the title and format, and Peers himself, noting the ease with which he was able to find contributors for the book.

“Everywhere you go…in the Anglican world, people still tell stories of Michael Peers, when he said this or he did that,” Ingham said. “His name has long lasted after his tenure.”

One contributor was former governor general Adrienne Clarkson, who attended the launch and referred to Peers as “one of the most extraordinary friends and leaders that I have ever met…I think the church was very lucky to have him to lead us through an extremely difficult time.”

Peers at book launch

In his own remarks, Peers thanked all who had contributed to More Than I Can Say, connecting his early years in the church to his experience as primate with a common theme from the Gospel of Mark: “Love the Lord thy God with all thy mind.”

Affirming his success in that goal, Bishop Gordon Light, who also served as principal secretary and offered prayers of thanksgiving, praised Peers’ knowledge of the international church and his ability to “hold things together and see the church in a larger way than most of us ever experienced it, and the capacity to share that with others, too.”

Click here to order your copy of More Than I Can Say.


Anglican Church of Canada, News from General Synod, January 23, 2015

Marcus Borg, theologian and historical Jesus expert, dies at 72

Posted on: January 23rd, 2015 by CEP Administrator No Comments

Marcus Borg

[Episcopal News Service] Marcus J. Borg, a New Testament scholar, theologian and author who was associated for years with the search for the historical Jesus and who sought to put the New Testament in what he believed was its proper context, died Jan. 21.

Borg, 72, had been suffering from a prolonged illness, friends said.

“Marcus Borg was a gifted teacher and profoundly significant voice of reasoned faith for many, both in and outside the church,” Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori said via e-mail from the Holy Land where she is leading an interfaith pilgrimage. “His teaching and writing led countless numbers of people into deeper and more authentic relationship with the Holy One. His gifts of insight, profound faith, and the ability to show others a path will be greatly missed.”

“Marcus also modeled for the world and the church what it is like to build collegial relationships with people who hold deep and differing convictions, and to discover greater truth and friendship in the midst of that kind of dialogue,” she continued. “I had the great privilege to know him as a teacher and a colleague over more than 30 years, and I will miss him deeply. May he rest in peace and edify the angels. Pray for Marianne and his children and give thanks for a life well lived in the search for truth.”

Borg was a leader in the Jesus Seminar, which worked to construct the life of Jesus through historical critical methods that looked at ancient texts such as the Bible to discern the world they described. The seminar’s fellows voted on the relative authenticity of about 500 statements and events concerning Jesus.

The seminar portrayed Jesus as a Jewish wise man and faith healer who traveled the countryside, dining with and healing people whom Jewish dogma and social norms treated as outsiders. This Jesus was seen as a prophet who preached about the possibility of liberation from injustice.

Not all theologians and religious scholars agree with the seminar’s approach and findings. Yet others passionately agreed and many Christians credit Borg and others such scholars with reviving their faith.

“Very many people who had left the Christian faith have returned to it through Marcus’ evangelism (though he would grimace at my use of the word, I suspect),” the Very Rev. Barkley Thompson, dean and rector of Christ Church Cathedral in Houston, wrote in his blog after learning of Borg’s death. “Marcus was a Christian, a follower of Jesus Christ in word and in deed.  He understood Jesus (and especially the Resurrection) differently than I do.  But the veracity of his faith was clear.  And calm.  And passionate.”

Borg had been national chair of the Historical Jesus Section of the Society of Biblical Literature and co-chair of its International New Testament Program Committee and president of the Anglican Association of Biblical Scholars.

Borg wasinstalled May 31, 2009, as canon theologian at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Portland, Oregon, where he had taught frequently and where his wife, the Rev. Marianne Borg, was on staff at the time. Since their retirement, the Borgs have attended Trinity Episcopal Church in Bend, Oregon.

“Adult theological re-education at the congregational level is an urgent need within American churches today,” Borg said at the time. “It is essential to Christian formation. And from my own experience and from a number of studies, I know that it has been a source of re-vitalization in hundreds of congregations around the country.”

As a lecturer and author, Borg traveled as much as 100,000 miles a year. He was the Hundere Chair of Religion and Culture at Oregon State University where he taught for 28 years until his retirement in 2007. He was the author of 21 books, including Jesus: A New Vision (1987) and the best-seller Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time (1994); The God We Never Knew (1997); The Meaning of Jesus: Two Visions (1999); Reading the Bible Again for the First Time (2001), and The Heart of Christianity (2003), both best-sellers.

His latest books are Convictions: How I Learned What Matters Most (2014) Speaking Christian(2011); Putting Away Childish Things (a novel – 2010); Jesus: Uncovering the Life, Teachings and Relevance of a Religious Revolutionary (a New York Times Best-Seller – 2006); Conversations with Scripture: Mark (2009); and three books co-authored with John Dominic CrossanThe Last Week (2006), The First Christmas (2007), and The First Paul (2009). He is the co-author with N. T. Wright of The Meaning of Jesus: Two Visions.

In Convictions, a book that he said grew out of a sermon he preached at Trinity Cathedral on his 70th birthday, Borg wrote that there was “nothing remarkable about my life, nothing heroic.” And he said that while it was hard for him to turn 60 because that milestone felt “like the end of potential and the beginning of inevitable and inexorable decline,” turning 70 in 2012 felt “interestingly empowering.”

Borg said that from this vantage point he was exploring what it meant to be Christian and American, having been shaped by those two memberships, and more especially “to be Christian and to live in the richest and most powerful country in the world, often called the ‘American Empire.’”

He called God “real and a mystery,” in Convictions and asked his readers to “Imagine that Christianity is about loving God. Imagine that it’s not about the self and its concerns, about ‘what’s in it for me,’ whether that be a blessed afterlife or prosperity in this life.”

More information about Borg can be found on his website.

– Religion News Service contributed to this obituary.


Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS), January 23, 2015

Ecumenism alive and well in Newfoundland

Posted on: January 21st, 2015 by CEP Administrator No Comments


By André Forget


Christine Lynch, a student from Harbour Grace in her second year of the master of divinity program at Queen’s College, says studying in an ecumenical context has widened her perspective. Photo: André Forget

St. John’s
Students and faculty of Queen’s College in the diocese of Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador kicked off the annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity with an interdenominational service featuring a sermon from Archbishop Martin Currie of the Roman Catholic archdiocese of St. John’s.

In his sermon, Currie called on Christians of all denominations to come together on issues that all can agree must be addressed, such as poverty, violence and the environment.

In an anecdote from his own childhood in the small village of Marinette, Nova Scotia, Currie spoke about how far the church has come: “My mother used to tell me to pray for the Protestants, because they were going to hell,” he said, chuckling.

When Newfoundland was first being settled by Europeans, Protestants and Catholics tended to establish communities separately, and from the mid-19th to the late 20th century the education system was run along denominational lines. This led to the deep entrenchment of denominational identity.

However, this sectarian past has been replaced by an increasingly ecumenical present. Denominational co-operation is the norm rather than the exception at Queen’s, where the faculty includes both Anglican and Roman Catholic clergy and where the students represent just about every denomination in the province.

Christine Lynch, a student from Harbour Grace in her second year of the master of divinity program, noted that studying in an ecumenical context has given her greater insights into her course material.

“I think when we close ourselves off and we just keep to ourselves, we don’t know other people’s perspective on things,” said Lynch. “The more we get to know people, the more accepting we are of what they believe.”

Lynch was quick to add that in the context of Newfoundland, Queen’s is not unique.

“I’ve found that a lot of our communities now try to work together,” she said. “We do a lot of ecumenical services in our town at special times, say, during Lent. We’ll go to the United church one week and the Roman Catholic church the next week, [or] we’ll go to the Anglican church—everyone from different denominations, we walk through life together.”

Kay Short, another master of divinity student, agreed. “In the parishes, the different denominations get together really well. They are invited to preach at each other’s churches; they take part in different things like the World Day of Prayer and the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, and at times like Christmas and Easter,” she said. “It works well.”

Observations of the Week of Prayer will continue throughout the week at Queen’s, with clergy from different denominations preaching at various services.

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, an initiative of the World Council of Churches (WCC), is held from January 18 to 25 every year. It has been observed in one form or another since 1908.


Anglican Journal News, January 21, 2015

Threshold Ministries provide practical resources for evangelism

Posted on: January 19th, 2015 by CEP Administrator No Comments

threshold_childrens ministry

Children’s ministry is just one form of evangelical work that Threshold Ministries will be featuring in an upcoming video series designed to serve as a practical resource for evangelists across Canada


By Matt Gardner

Its name may have changed, but the organization formerly known as the Church Army in Canada retains its singular focus on evangelism while offering an ever-increasing range of practical resources for those called to ministry.

Threshold Ministries, which traces its roots to the Church Army founded by 19th century British evangelist William Carlile, adopted its new moniker in 2010 to better reflect the present cultural context, with “threshold” referring to the place of entrance into God’s kingdom.

“We’ve really been intentional to keep to what we are [and] what we have been about, which is evangelism,” national director Shawn Branch said.

“So we’re still training people who are working within parishes; we’re still trying to provide resources for individuals to do evangelism within the local context—and some of the things we’ve kind of refined what we were doing.”

One of the main refinements, he noted, is providing more practical resources for evangelism.

The organization recently received a major boost in that regard through a $6,000 grant from the Anglican Foundation of Canada for a video studio to help deliver short teachings on ministry, evangelism, outreach and mission.

With the grant helping to pay for equipment, Threshold Ministries will now be able to produce regular video clips offering tips on ministry, such as how to have conversations spreading the message of Christ. It will post the videos through social media and on websites such as YouTube and Vimeo to better reach evangelists in more remote areas.

“If someone from, say, northern Ontario was looking and saying, ‘Well, we can’t really do anything, I just live in a small community,’ hopefully what we’d be able to do is help equip them to do that,” Branch said.

Another resource Threshold Ministries is offering for those engaged in evangelical work is Stepping Into Evangelism, a newly released 64-page booklet full of practical tips and exercises for sharing the gospel.

Threshold Ministries adapted the resource for a Canadian audience from a book produced by the Church Army in the United Kingdom, with Branch writing one of the chapters.

“A big part of the reason that people don’t do evangelism is because they have this image that you need to have some sort of theological training, [or that] it’s not something that the average person can do,” Branch said.

“What we try to say is [that] evangelism is something that everyone can do and should be doing,” he added. “A theological education is not going to give the magic script to do it…In the section that I wrote, I emphasize there were times even in my ministry that I have made mistakes in doing evangelism and have [learned] from that, but hopefully I’ve been able to plant seeds in someone’s life that someone else can help them…nurture.”

In its evangelical work, which often involves helping the poor and those living on the margins of society, Threshold Ministries avoids a “cookie-cutter” approach in favour of adapting its work to the unique circumstances in each area.

Branch is currently planning to hold one-on-one conversations with bishops later in the year to discuss what their needs are in each diocese and how to train evangelists to work in those specific conditions.

“My hope is that in the course of the next year…we can see some of those partnerships and those local training things come off the ground.”


Anglican Church of Canada, News from General Synod, January 16, 2015

Church submits residential school records to TRC

Posted on: January 19th, 2015 by CEP Administrator No Comments


By André Forget


(L-R) General Synod archivist Nancy Hurn, assistant archivist Laurel Parson and former general secretary Archdeacon Jim Boyles look at some of the photos from the General Synod archives relating to Indian residential schools. Photo: André Forget


It has been a long process, but the Anglican Church of Canada will submit today its digital records relating to Indian Residential Schools—over 300,00 pages of documents—to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).

For General Synod archivist Nancy Hurn, who co-ordinated the seven-year digitization process, it has been a journey filled with hard work. It has also, however, been a rewarding one.

“I’ve been an archivist for 30 years,” said Hurn, “and this is predominantly the first time that I have looked at historical records that have such an impact on people’s current lives.”

Between 1820 and 1969, the Anglican church operated 35 residential schools across Canada, and as part of the 2007 Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement, it was required to provide the TRC with all information related to the residential schools held in its archives.

This was the task Hurn and the church archivists faced: finding all the relevant documents, and making copies available for the TRC. Approximately half of the digitized records came from the General Synod archives in Toronto, which also held records from the Arctic and Keewatin dioceses. The rest of the records came from the archives of 30 dioceses across Canada, including those that did not have residential schools within their boundaries. The documents Hurn and the other archivists compiled will be held at the National Research Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NRCTC) at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg.

Hurn said her feelings about the work have evolved over the course of the process.

“In the first few years, during the litigation and alternate dispute resolution period, I was working late nights trying to really understand the school and the staff, to research the records—it was pretty intense and disturbing and stressful,” she said.

However, once the settlement agreement was established, things began to change. “It felt like we could actually do something that would make a contribution that might help the survivors understand their experience,” she explained. “Doing everything we could to make sure they were getting the compensation they were due was important…It was just a piece of what the church needed to do.” Former students and their families, academic researchers and media have full access to the church’s schools-related documents.

One of the important goals of the archival work is ascertaining the number of children who died while attending residential schools run by the Anglican church. Hurn said records from the General Synod archives and the diocese of the Arctic have identified over 100 children who died while at Anglican-run residential schools. These records were among those submitted to the TRC. Hurn noted, however, that there “could definitely be more Anglican deaths in places across the country.”

Archival research such as this has helped the TRC to estimate that at least 4,000 students died in residential schools across Canada.

But it is not just about the numbers. As Hurn noted, many of families have little or no information about how their children died. “Anything that can be added to the understanding of what happened to these children at the time of their death is so important,” she said, adding that another ongoing question has been where the children were buried.

Aside from the digital documents, the church has also submitted almost 12,000 “electronically-created documents” and over 6,000 photographs relating to residential schools. Hurn said that among the most useful records are monthly reports from the schools, photographs, superintendent and field secretary reports, diaries, parishes registers, newsletters and circular letters detailing policies. Which documents are most useful, she added, depends in part on what people are looking for.

“It depends on if you’re looking at it from the government side and the attendance records, or if you’re looking at it from the survivors’ side. The survivors are looking at the photographs and anything that identifies them as attending the school.”

Part of the settlement agreement, Hurn explained, involved giving indigenous people control over their own information. “For them to have this body of records that they can control and decide how it is to be used is really valid.”

This has raised other issues, though. Because both the church and the NRCTC (which will open in June 2015, following the official closing of the TRC) will hold the information, they must work together to ensure that they offer similar degrees of access.

Ry Moran, director of the NRCTR, said this matter is very much on his mind.

“We’re really going to be looking to all the entities that have produced records to us to understand what materials are publicly available in their archives right now, and ensuring that we’re in lockstep with that,” he said. “It’s a big task.”

For Hurn, though, there is great symbolic importance behind the records being kept by both parties. “We share the records so that both the church and the survivors can learn about the residential school history” she said, “and so that we can move forward in healing based on those records.”

But the biggest priority for both Hurn and Moranis meeting the needs of the survivors.

“It really isn’t about us. It’s about the survivors,” said Hurn, explaining that during the process she had been driven to “hunt harder and make sure that every document we could find that was relevant could be made available” because “no one quite knew what it would mean to the survivors.”

Moran, faced with the “gargantuan task” of organizing and putting the information at the public’s fingertips, said this involves “thinking through things in a manner that will render the records accessible in ways that make sense for the users that are looking to have access to them.”

The NRCTR plans on making the records electronically available online in ways that will allow survivors to access them remotely. It has also promised to “provide personal assistance with navigating, using, and understanding the records” for those who don’t have familiarity with computers.

The guiding principle in all of this, Moran said, is based on the survivor’s desire to “do no harm,” and to ensure that the records are provided in a “respectful and dignified manner.”

“It’s really important that we get this right.”


Anglican Journal News, January 16, 2015

Tribute to Peers published

Posted on: January 14th, 2015 by CEP Administrator No Comments

By Leigh Anne Williams


Prominent figures, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams and former Governor General Adrienne Clarkson, are among the 70 contributors to this book about Archbishop Michael Peers, who was primate of the Anglican Church of Canada from 1986 to 2004.


A book that was commissioned as a tribute to Archbishop Michael Peers, former primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, has just been published. More Than I Can Say: Michael Peers: A Memoir is a collection of memories, stories and reflections from more than 70 contributors.

The project was initiated by Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, as “a tribute to Michael from a grateful church,” writes Bishop Michael Ingham, who edited the collection. Contributors include the former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, former Governor General Adrienne Clarkson, Saskatchewan MP Ralph Goodale and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

In a foreword, Hiltz writes that collectively the contributions form “a profound testament to that sharpness of mind, generosity of spirit, and grace of demeanour for which Michael is held with such deep respect and genuine affection.”

He added that there were “many amazing moments in his primacy, but for me there are two that remain indelibly printed on the very soul of our church.” Hiltz describes one moment of great joy when Peers and National Bishop Telmor Sartison of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada signed the Declaration of Full Communion in 2001.

The second, Hiltz said, was one of “incredible humility” on Aug. 6, 1993 when Peers offered his apology for the church’s “part in the sad legacy of the Indian residential schools…Each utterance of the words ‘I am sorry’ was accompanied by ‘more than I can say.’ How appropriate it is that these words were chosen as the title for this book,” Hiltz writes.

Speaking to the Anglican Journal about the book, Peers said, “Initially, I wasn’t very enthusiastic about the project. It was the primate’s idea. He wondered whether I wanted to write an autobiography, and I certainly didn’t want to do that.” But Ingham’s suggestion to make the book a collection of personal essays was “a kind of painless way to get history collected,” he said.

With typical self-deprecating humour, Peers added, “I’m sure they could have found some people who would have had more negative views of my time and my work, but that’s ok, I don’t mind.”

He conceded that he is looking forward to the book launch, which will be held on Jan. 22 at the Toronto offices of the Anglican Church of Canada with a noon eucharist service and reception to follow.

The Anglican Foundation provided funds for the printing costs, according to its executive director, Judy Rois.

More Than I Can Say, ISBN 978-1-55126-575-9, is available from Augsburg Fortress Canada:


Anglican Journal News, January 14, 2015

SSJD elects a new reverend mother

Posted on: January 14th, 2015 by CEP Administrator No Comments


By André Forget

Sister Elizabeth Rolfe-Thomas, who has just been elected Reverend Mother for the Sisterhood of St. John the Divine, has “never looked back” from her monastic calling. Photo: Contributed.


In early May, the Toronto-based Sisterhood of St. John the Divine (SSJD) will have a new reverend mother.

Sister Elizabeth Rolfe-Thomas, who has served as prioress (or assistant to the reverend mother) since 2008 and as novice director since 2003, was elected to replace the incumbent, Reverend Mother Sister Elizabeth Ann Eckert.

“I feel it’s an awesome responsibility, a challenging task,” she told the Anglican Journal. “I’m happy to accept it.”

Rolfe-Thomas acknowledged that she is stepping into the position during a time of uncertainty. “We’re in such a position in the church right now that we just don’t know what’s happening—the church is getting smaller. My hope is that, together as a community, we can see what the future holds. One of our great hopes is to see more vocations as a community.”

She understands that, while the sisterhood is “very much a team ministry,” the role of reverend mother is not an easy one. The reverend mother provides leadership, care and accountability for the other sisters while also facilitating the community’s decision- making process, being in contact with the wider church, fostering new vocations and ensuring the faithfulness of the community to its rule of life.

Traditionally, being a reverend mother was a lifelong position, but because of the role’s demanding nature, a reverend mother is now elected for a five-year term with the choice to accept a second five-year term.

Though Rolfe-Thomas is still not entirely sure what her vision as reverend mother will be, she has a strong belief in the importance of the ministry of religious orders such as the sisterhood to the life of the church. “We are part of the church,” she said, “but we’re on the edge of the church, and it gives us a certain freedom of thought that not everyone has. We give our whole life to what we believe, to the Christian journey, and we want to help others on their Christian journey.”

Originally from the diocese of New Westminster, Rolfe-Thomas has been a member of the SSJD since 1997. Before becoming a postulant, she taught at Crofton House School in Vancouver for 26 years. She is currently chaplain to Council of General Synod, the Anglican Church of Canada’s governing body between General Synods.

When asked why she had joined the sisterhood, she said that she’d had an interest in joining a religious society early on in life, but it was following the death of her husband when she really started exploring the possibility. Originally intending to become an oblate, while attending a discernment program the sisterhood runs annually called “Women at a Crossroads,” she felt a strong call to join the order.

The call came as a bit of a shock. “I was an administrator at the school, a wonderful job, earning more salary than I ever thought I’d earn in a lifetime; I had family and friends—no thought of ever leaving Vancouver,” said Rolfe-Thomas. “But suddenly this pull came. I just couldn’t say no.”

Since then, she says, “I have never looked back.”

Rolfe-Thomas will be the seventh reverend mother to serve the SSJD since it was founded in 1884.


Anglican Journal News, January 14, 2015

Taizé Community: Tens of thousands of young people gathered “to be salt for the earth”

Posted on: January 13th, 2015 by CEP Administrator No Comments

Taizé Community: Prague

After 24 years, the Taizé community has returned to Prague for the 37th European meeting. The logistical challenges were enormous, but the most powerful experience probably lay in the ordinary meetings between very different people, reflecting a universal fellowship.

Among the many testimonies sent to us by young participants in the meeting, here is one from Antoinette (Switzerland): “My hosts told me that they were part of the ’Cladestine Church’ during the totalitarian regime. […] To listen to their story really made a mark on me and made me realize that we have a great responsibility as Christians. Not only to each other within our own communities, but also to society. To be salt for the earth, means supporting each other and bearing witness to our faith. By staying true to our values, I am sure we can bring about big changes and a little bit of peace in our society.”


News from Taizé by email – 13 January 2015

Journal launches special TRC web page

Posted on: January 12th, 2015 by CEP Administrator No Comments


The Anglican Journal’s extensive and award-winning coverage of the historic Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) national events—from 2010 to 2015—has now been compiled into a single web page . Click here.

With this dedicated web page, Anglicans, historians, researchers and other interested individuals in Canada and overseas now have access to rich and compelling archival material about this important part of Canadian and church history—at their fingertips.

In creating a web page dedicated to all its reportage of TRC events, the Journal offers a valuable resource that will be of use not just now, but in perpetuity. The site includes over 150 news, features, videos and photographs that have been recognized with awards in journalism.

The TRC is a key component of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement signed in 2007 by the federal government, four church denominations, the Assembly of First Nations and other aboriginal organizations. Its mandate includes educating all Canadians about the history of the Indian residential schools and inspiring reconciliation “among individuals, families, communities, religious entities, government, and the people of Canada.” From the late 19th century to the mid-20th century, about 150,000 aboriginal children were put into residential schools across Canada. Many were physically, emotionally and sexually abused. The Anglican church operated 26 of the 80 native boarding schools from the mid-19th century into the 1970s.


Anglican Journal News, January 12, 2015

Uganda announces event to celebrate Anglican Church’s “forgotten martyr”

Posted on: January 12th, 2015 by CEP Administrator No Comments

Archbishop Luwum was “a gentle, peaceful and humble man”, but a determined shepherd

Photo Credit: Church of Uganda


By ACNS staff, with additional reporting by the Revd Dr Nigel Collinson


Leading figures in Uganda today announced they will be holding a day of celebration to remember an Anglican Archbishop who was assassinated for opposing the Idi Amin regime.

At a ceremony at Namirembe Cathedral today notaries – including Uganda’s Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugund, the former Prime Minister Professor Apolo Nsibambi, Archbishop Stanley Ntagali and other bishops – announced a major event to remember 20th Century martyr Archbishop Janani Luwum.

Every 16th day of February for the last 37 years a small function to commemorate the late archbishop has taken place place at Mucwini primary school where the late Archbishop rests.

This year a major event, with support at the highest levels of Ugandan society, will be held on the same day at Archbishop Janani Luwum’s home village and burial site in Mucwini, Kitgum. Archbishop Stanley Ntagali announced he will be the Chief Celebrant and the Church of England’s Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, will be the Preacher.

This will be good news to Janani Luwum’s daughter, July Adriko who media reports said had felt her father had been “forgotten”.

A gentle, determined shepherd

In their A Century of Christianity in Uganda, Tom Tuma and Phares Mutibwa described Archbishop Luwum as “a gentle, peaceful and humble man”, a determined shepherd who “was capable of searching for the hundredth sheep even if that meant risking his own life”.

This is what he was doing on 7 February 1977, when he and Dr Sam Wills went to the notorious Naguru prison to look for the medical superintendent of Mengo Hospital, abducted from his house by Ugandan soldiers.

On 12 February 1977, Archbishop Luwum delivered a note of protest to the President about the regime’s acts of violence.
President Amin summoned him and other religious leaders, including the Roman Catholic Cardinal Archbishop and a prominent Muslim leader, to the presidential palace on 16 February.  After being harangued by Amin they were allowed to depart one by one, leaving Archbishop Luwum alone.  As Bishop Festo Kivengere left, the Archbishop said to him, “They are going to kill me.  I am not afraid.”

He was not seen alive again.  The next day, 17 February, the announcement was made that Archbishop Janani had been killed in a car accident.  In fact, he had been shot. He left a widow, Mary Lavinyo, and nine children.

An Anglican martyr

In July 1988 Janani Luwum’s statute was unveiled in Westminster Abbey in London as one of the ten martyrs of the 20th Century. His death is commemorated on 17 February across the Anglican Communion.

The Archbishop likely knew the risk of speaking out against injustice and violence when he said: “I do not know how long I shall occupy this chair.  I live as though there will be no tomorrow…While the opportunity is there, I preach the Gospel with all my might, and my conscience is clear before God.”


Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS), January 12, 2015